Pueblo Weather Umbrella: Storms Veer Around Pueblo

Year-Round Mountain Bikers Are Discovering the Area South of Pueblo Reservoir Where More Trails Are Being Developed
By Jenny Paulson / Publisher / Southern Colorado Independent Magazine
Winters are Usually Mild In Pueblo, Which is Locals say has an Umbrella Over itPueblo Chamber of Commerce
Winters are Usually Mild In Pueblo, Which is Locals say has an Umbrella Over it

Pueblo children got to celebrate lack of blizzard condition snow with two “snow days” out of school February 1st and 2nd. Weather forecasters kept reporting a  major and possibly historic blizzard however on Sunday there was just a dusting of snow, a few more inches Monday and a little more Monday night before the sunshine starting coming out to melt the snow Tuesday afternoon.

Locals say that Pueblo weather is unpredictable because of many factors that contribute to it’s conditions. Pueblo is in a valley with mountains to the north, west and south and some locals say there is an “umbrella” over the City, that storms veer around it and defy weather reports often.
It’s why many choose to live in Pueblo to begin with.
Just before the early February storm, recent temperatures in late January went up in the the 70s and locals were out enjoying such activities as walks along the Riverwalk or sitting outdoors on Main or Union Avenue coffee shops for hours. In Pueblo usually snow melts within a few days of it falling with a few unusual weeks of elongated conditions.
Local business owner and fourth generation resident of Pueblo who studies the weather says Pueblo sits at the bottom of a valley with mountains to our north, west and south, so there is only a small window where Pueblo can get moisture from to get a big snow storm.
“That is when the wind is from the east and south east even north east a bit,” he said. “That is up slope winds and causes the moisture to fall out as the clouds go up hill causing the snow to fall in the winter storms. If the wind comes from the other directions the wind goes down hill, down sloping winds, and that causes the air to dry out before it reaches the city. That means the low pressure needs to track at or near Albuquerque New Mexico or as we call it a Albuquerque low.”
He continued to say: “If the low pressure goes to far north then the moisture goes north and we get the north drying wind. If it goes too far south the moisture goes south. That makes it hard to forecast cus 100 miles in either direction while not a big difference for the low to move can mean a huge difference in how much snow we get. That is, also, why our suburbs of Beulah and Rye get so much more snow as they are higher up and outside the valley so they get up slope from a east and north wind even a south wind.
Diodosio said Pueblo is comparable with Palm Springs. “The big difference, besides elevation, is they have mountains on all four sides this only get a few inches of rain a year were we do not have the mountains to the east so why we get about 11 inches of precipitation a year,” he said.
Pueblo locals remember the 1997 storm as one of the worst in recent history. One particular 1997  Spring hammered Colorado with a fury that brought a disaster declaration from Gov. Bill Ritter. The spring storm swept into the region and reached the “blizzard” threshold in some parts within a few hours.
 
The National Weather Service defines a blizzard by visibility and wind speed. A blizzard includes visibility of less than a quarter-mile with falling or blowing snow, and sustained wind or frequent gusts of at least 35 mph, all for three hours or longer.
 
But the 1997 storm was really the seventh-worst snow storm in Pueblo history according to the National Weather Service, which says the storms from 1946 and 1985 were the worst.
 
But Pueblo storms can’t even begin to match the storm that locals talked about when I lived in Northwest Colorado ten years and published alternative magazines. Stories I published then referred to a 1985 storm when temperatures at Maybell just west of Craig plunged to -61 °F below zero for a new record for the state of Colorado. 
That’s cold.
I like many moved to Pueblo for the mild climate having lived in the mountains about a decade. Having grown up in Oregon with the rain I especially like the year-round sunshine in Pueblo.
Year-Round Mountain Bikers Are Discovering the Area South of Pueblo Reservoir Where More Trails Are Being Developed
Year-Round Mountain Bikers Are Discovering the Area South of Pueblo Reservoir Where More Trails Are Being Developed

Reports are vary but tend to say that Pueblo gets an average of 258 days of sunshine per year. Diodosio began a study in July of 2015 to track for himself of how many days of sunshine Pueblo really has. He reported in early January that he counted only 15 cloudy days from July to December of 2015 and he is continuing his study through June to report for the entire year. Diodosio is on the marketing committee for PEDCO and says that we should promote more the great Pueblo climate to visitors and those who might want to live here. He said Pueblo is poised to become more of a year round destination for tourists and bikers because Pueblo is often dry at times of year when the rest of the state is still frozen in.

Diodosio said that PEDCO and other organizations are trying to market Pueblo more and more to mountain bikers. And indeed bikers are have been discovering Pueblo, long known for its green chiles, without a lot of marketing. In the last decade, local bikers built about 50 miles of singletrack on a dry, sunny plateau west of Pueblo where there are 27,000 acres of juniper-studded arroyoss and sandstone cliffs. The area is nicknamed the South Shore because it sits just south of Pueblo Reservoir. Bikers say that the scenery reminds them of Utah and the sunny, arid landscape keeps the trails dry when most of the state is still frozen in.

Southern Colorado Independent Magazine publisher Jenny Paulson is a 20 year veteran niche magazine publisher, an independent journalist, photographer, publisher, blogger, activist, world traveler and a proud mom. She has worked as a political activist, for a lobbyist, a pr firm, the governor and for a representative in Washington DC. She has lived in her home of Pueblo, CO ten years.

About Jenny Paulson 83 Articles
Southern Colorado Independent Magazine publisher Jenny Paulson is a 20 year veteran niche magazine publisher, an independent journalist, photographer, publisher, blogger, activist, world traveler and a proud mom. She has worked as a political activist, for a lobbyist, a pr firm, the governor and for a representative in Washington DC. She has lived in her home of Pueblo, CO ten years.
Contact: Website

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